Microbiology section of the laboratory provides state-of-art services for diagnosis of infectious diseases - bacterial, mycobacteria, and fungal, parasitic, and viral infections.
The department assists in providing education on infection control practices for healthcare workers. Infection control policies on waste disposal, use of disinfectants and antibiotics have been formulated. The department also provides relevant data in monitoring healthcare associated infections. Constant surveillance is done on infection control practices in the entire hospital in order to control the infection rate as well as prevent outbreaks.
Microbiology is the scientific field concerned with the study of microscopic organisms, commonly known as micro-organisms.
All living creatures are made up of cells. Cells are very small basic units of life. They are the smallest structures capable of basic life processes, such as taking in nutrients and expelling waste.
Micro-organisms are organisms that usually consist of one single cell.
There are two kinds of micro-organisms.
Protista (eukaryotic): They contain nucleuses, surrounded by membrane.
Monera (prokaryotic): They contain no nucleus and other internal parts, surrounded by a membrane.
Monera are bacteria & cyanobacteria and protista are single celled eukaryotic micro-organisms. Examples are amoebdiatoms, algae and protozoa.
They are single cell organisms usually having a definite outer envelope or capsule for protection. They multiply by dividing into two, which can occur very quickly (Eg. every 20 minutes). They can actively move and link themselves together in chains or in bunches.
Viruses are organisms much smaller than bacteria. In their pre-infective stage, they are just like a chemical with none of the requirements for life, but once in a living cell they take over and begin to multiply. They can grow only in living tissue, but can be carried in food from one person to another.
Yeasts are single cell organisms much larger than bacteria and can be found in the soil, on plants, and on the skin and body of humans. They multiply by forming offspring as buds which grow and then detach themselves.
Some can produce disease, some cause skin infections in humans and others cause diseases in plants. Some yeasts spoil food, but beneficial uses are in the making of beer, wine, and bread.
Moulds grow as single cell filaments that can branch together making a strongly knit structure like a mat, which can often be seen with the naked eye. Usually they look fluffy, being a familiar sight on foods like jam, cheese and bread. They multiply by producing clusters of dry spores which are blown by the air like seeds.
Many moulds spoil food and a few can cause disease in plants and humans, but beneficial uses are in the ripening of cheeses and production of antibiotics.
There are more microbial cells in our body than there are human cells! In fact 95% of all the cells in the body are bacteria, mainly living in the digestive tract. There are more bacteria in the colon than the total number of people who have ever lived. Everyone has about 1 kg in weight of bacteria in their gut. Each gram of faeces contains 100,000,000,000 microbes. Human adults excrete their own weight in faecal bacteria every year.